USS problems could bolster short-term prices

Apr 14, 2014 | 06:17 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  U.S. Steel, force majeure, Great Lakes Works, Gary Works, Morgan Stanely Research, Chuck Bradford, Metals Industry Advisory Group, John Tumazos flat-rolled steel

CHICAGO — U.S. Steel Corp.’s declaration of force majeure at its Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Mich., and production cuts at its Gary Works in northwest Indiana could squeeze an already tight flat-rolled steel market as a recent round of price increases kicks in, analysts said.

But they also questioned whether higher prices would prove sustainable and whether all steel companies—especially those that have suffered production problems—would benefit.

A spokeswoman for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel confirmed April 14 that Gary Works continued to operate at reduced levels. "We are working directly with our customers to mitigate disruptions to their operations but have not described in detail the manner of addressing their concerns as it depends on the customer," she said via e-mail.....

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